Carper Statement on Passage of USA Freedom Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after the Senate approved the USA Freedom Act, which reauthorized several provisions of the Patriot Act that expired on Monday, June 1st.

“I am relieved that, in the end, my colleagues and I were able to come together and make sure that a few of the federal government’s key counter terrorism tools are authorized in law. However, the fact that it took us this long to come to an agreement – and forced the expiration of critical national security measures – is deeply disappointing. We must put an end to this the era of crisis governing, especially when it jeopardizes key measures that work to keep Americans safe. 

“Today’s action takes a critical step in restoring these expired counterterrorism tools and makes a number of important and necessary revisions to the previous law to better protect Americans’ privacy and freedoms. I share the belief that these surveillance authorities should not be permanent and strongly hold the position that we must exercise ongoing oversight and evaluation to determine whether further modifications to these laws are necessary. I supported the legislation we passed today because I think it gives Congress the ability to revise the law to address both the ever-changing nature of national security threats and our citizens’ sacred right to their privacy. 

At the end of the day all of us, from the Obama Administration, to Congress, to our courts, must strike a critical but challenging balance between respecting our cherished civil liberties and ensuring that our intelligence gathering agencies have the tools, information and resources they need to do their jobs and keep Americans safe. We must continue to work on maintaining this difficult balance at all times.”